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Showing posts from August, 2021

Examining the waste

  Having developed, in recent years, a desire to be a better global citizen, less wasteful and more caring for the planet on whose surface we scrabble, I was particularly struck by a recent event. I should say at this point that I live in a house with my wife and four teenagers. I walked into the kitchen to find a sizeable portion of the fridge's contents on the bench; this was scene of a lockdown clear-out. Now, I am regularly to be found toasting the crusts of bread for breakfast because no one else will eat them. We buy toast slice, supermarket brand, wholemeal bread for the kids because they routinely go through a loaf a day, along with a box of eggs. However they seem to be unable to eat the crusts. The bread bags which contain two opposing crusts appear to multiply in the fridge and now there were a good half dozen of them on the bench, along with three large yoghurt pots, various left-overs, and halves of onion and avocado - there might also have been shrivelled sections tom

Follow the guidelines

  Here we are again. Whilst none of us are, I'm sure, entirely happy about it, can we at least agree that it is necessary? I mean, what's the alternative? Just carry on as normal and let the cards fall where they may? Ultimately, I guess that might work out - for the majority of the poulation. Unless of course you were one of the people who died as a result of catching the Delta variant of Covid 19. Or unless the health system collapsed under the strain and you were part of the collateral damage - one of those who couldn't get urgent medical treatment because of that collapse. I think it is fair to say that nobody really knows how serious the consequences of an unfettered outbreak might be, but I do think the government is right to do what they can to avoid it. Sure - it's inconvenient for most and downright difficult for some, but it is the right thing to do. I drove into town today and was surprised by the amount of traffic on the road, and by the number of people who

Our changing world

It seems trite to moan about recycling soft plastics in Cambridge NZ when across the world people are dealing with such crises as the earthquake in Haiti, unprecedented rainfall and flooding in Japan, and of course the arrival of the Taliban in Kabul.   I can't help thinking of the people of Afghanistan who have, over the past twenty years, become accustomed to a level of freedom which now seems unlikely to continue. A spokesman for the Taliban called the BBC this morning and said there would be 'no revenge' on the people of Afghanistan and went on to say that they are awaiting a peaceful transfer of power as 'servants of the people and of this country'. That would be the power they have just taken by force from the elected government? Or would have done had government forces not evaporated in the face of their advance.   I certainly do not claim to understand the intricacies of the situation, hardly even the overview. It is a complex situation with religion at its

Here's the ammunition...

  As I write, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is about to publish their latest report. I reckon it should be called "Have you been paying attention?" This will be the most comprehensive report of its kind and it will provide the most up to date assessment of the effects of climate change in the coming decades. The last time this panel got together, in 2013, they weren't absolutely convinced that extreme weather events could be ascribed to climate change, itself caused by human activities. Now, thanks to advances in the science and the computer modelling available, I am sure they will be unequivocal in that assertion. There will still be   plenty of people who believe it's all a hoax, citing natural patterns, but they are gradually being edged out into the cold, as it were. I don't mean to pick a fight with the climate sceptics, there's no need; nobody has a serious debate with a flat-earther.   By the time these words are in print, the new report

Time to take a lead?

  The biggest manufacturer, in the world, of plant based meat is called Beyond Meat. The founder of Beyond Meat is called Ethan Brown, and he has said a tax on meat (animal meat, that is) would encourage people to cut their consumption of animal-based products. He says it could help emerging markets to invest in plant based protein. When I read this earlier today my first thought was that any politician or public fugure who made such a suggestion in this country would find themselves in very hot water indeed. The recent 'Howl of a Protest' would pale into insignificance by comparison to the flames of outrage which would be ignited even by the proposition, at government level, of a tax on meat. Then I wondered whether it might, in fact, already have been suggested, and it turns out that it has. In January 2019 a panel of international experts, co-chaired by Professor Boyd Swinburn of Auckland University and Professor George Dietz of George Washington University, called for a tax